Photograph by Jonas Bendiksen, National Geographic
The New Hope Fertility Center occupies two floors in a sleek office building across from Central Park, a block from the Trump International Hotel. Upstairs, couples who want children but are struggling to conceive sit in a well-appointed waiting room. On the wall, an LCD monitor cycles through a presentation of the clinic’s specialties: in vitro fertilization, egg freezing, genetic testing. Some of the couples, though, are pursuing a different and controversial reproductive service: surrogate pregnancy… NEW REPUBLIC.
“People were staring at us—and snapping pictures.”
Of all the countries we’ve visited as a family, the hardest, by far, was China.
A series of missteps on my part meant that, after a 13-hour flight, we found ourselves in a very non-touristy part of Beijing, at a “hotel” that was more like a businessman’s rental apartment. Within a few hours, we were already wondering if our plan to spend a month there had been a huge mistake.
The next morning, our bad mood was emboldened by torrential rains—but after a harrowing ride with a cab driver to whom speed limits were merely suggestions, we finally arrived at the Forbidden City. We had taken shelter under the cover of one of the arched gates and were waiting for our guide to arrive when we noticed something.
People were staring at us—and snapping pictures… NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC